Boyle Heights CicLAvia Expansion Update
(Apology: Super-Voluntario Mark Didia wrote this just after the meeting described, and I didn’t get around to posting it until the day before tomorrow’s Boyle Heights CicLAvia Host Committee meeting.)
A couple of weeks ago, Boyle Heights residents met to discuss and draw out an extension route for a future CicLAvia. The meeting was held at Corazon Del Pueblo; a Boyle Heights community space where you can find various activities being hosted (e.g. yoga classes, art shows, etc). At the meeting attendees were able to design routes and vote on which they were most interested in. Out of the eight or so routes created, four received the most interest. From those four, we plan to return for another meeting to fine tune the routes and hopefully narrow it down to one.
Boyle Heights is a relatively small, yet dynamic community. Approaching the route is a bit tricky, since we have so many great streets in a small area. To start, we discussed entering and exiting the area. There are few corridors into the community and most agreed that 4th Street and 6th Street were the best streets to enter or exit. Though Cesar Chavez Avenue and 1st Street are great options, they pose some challenges that 6th/Whittier or 4th Street do not. For example, 1st Street has the exposed Metro Gold Line tracks and getting to Cesar Chavez from downtown might interrupt the flow of buses, trains, etc at Union Station.
Everyone also agreed that 1st Street at Boyle Avenue is an ideal point to reach. So what we envisioned at this point is a route that enters through 4th or 6th and heads north on Boyle Ave, with a right turn onto 1st Street. From there the routes differed (see links below), but with an agreement that Evergreen Cemetery was definitely a place to reach. Some routes we’re interested in circling Evergreen, while others want to pass it. On some routes the cemetery would be a rest stop, before heading further south toward Whittier Blvd.
Overall, the meeting was fun and it was exciting to witness the enthusiasm for bringing CicLAvia into the community. Listening to residents talk about their neighborhood is inspiring and a powerful reminder that communities are not just streets, businesses, and buildings to take for granted. As a daily bicycle commuter, it is fun riding around the diverse landscape in Los Angeles, but the heart of this neighborhood are people who are passionate, creative and in love with their city. That’s why CicLAvia should be in their hands.
To learn more about the Boyle Heights expansion, join the google group and come to tomorrow’s Boyle Heights CicLAvia Host Committee meeting (free, all welcome to attend) at 11am Saturday May 14th 2011 at Roosevelt High School room A208. Address is 456 S. Matthews Street, L.A. 90033.
Route #1 (most Votes): 4th – Boyle – 1st – Cummings – Cesar Chavez – Lorena – 1st – Evergreen – 4th – Euclid – Whittier
Route #2: 4th – Boyle – 1st – Lorena – Cesar Chavez – Cummings